Relevant: No Compromise
“Loving Well in a Babylonian Culture”
Some people think we must change our beliefs in the name of love. They act as if they love people more than God. God does not have love – God is love!
The only thing that stands is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6). The goal is not to be argumentative with people – but to show faith through love.
We cannot antagonize and influence at the same time. You will never win your enemies to Christ, so don’t have any. We cannot influence people if they do not like us.
How can we obtain the ability to love without changing the truth of scripture? Jesus is our best example. Love each other as I have loved you (John 13:34-35). This is the distinguishing characteristic of Christianity. ‘You should want to have this love (1 Corinthians 14:1).
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13
1. Without love all is ineffective
It is not about winning an argument, but rather it is about winning hearts.
1 Corinthians 13:1 says ‘I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I do not have love, it will sound like noisy brass.’
We live in a culture that has glorified opinions. Social media and the political world feed this culture. If I disagree with you, then I hate you. What has happened with our culture? Ephesians 4:15 says ‘Hold to the truth with love in our hearts.’ Ephesians 4:29 ‘Let everything you say be good and helpful’.
Everything that is coming out of our mouths is either building someone up or destroying someone. Let’s build and not tear down.
2. Without love all I know is insignificant
It has been estimated that knowledge is doubling every 3 years.
We are getting more knowledge – but the world is getting worse at the same time.
1 Corinthians 13:2 ‘… If I know all things and if I have the gift of faith so I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’
3. Without love all I believe is insufficient
“Pastor, I believe in God.” James says, well done, but don’t get too excited – even demons believe in God and tremble!
4. Without love all I have is incomplete
The amount is not what matters, it’s the heart and the love for the people that we give to that matters. Giving can become a form of pride. 1 Corinthians 13:3
“If I give all I possess to the poor, but have not love, I am nothing…”
5. Without love all I accomplish is inadequate
1 Corinthians 13:3 “If I give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
People value accomplishment but the accomplishment that should matter most is what we accomplish for God. Going to Heaven or Hell is not based upon what we do. Only our faith in Jesus gets us into Heaven. But once we get into Heaven, we will be rewarded for the things we have done.
Did we give our best for Jesus? Have we been faithful to His calling? Ask God to work in you.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Love will never fail us.
Daniel stood strong, was loving, respectful, influential, not proud, not opinionated. Read Daniel 6:1-5.
‘Then Daniel showed that he could do better work than the other leaders and captains because a special spirit was in him.’
Daniel embraced some godly qualities that made him above the rest. You do not have to be the most talented person to excel in life. You will excel in life if you embrace godly qualities.
We cannot control our skill set, our looks, but we can make a choice to love well and have a good attitude.
Here are a few things we can all do:
1. Serve people in our world
Find a need and serve (1 Corinthians 9:19)
Jesus said we should become servants of all. Jesus connected before He corrected. Look at Jesus and Zacchaeus. He connected with a thief – “let’s have lunch.”
2. Set an example for the people in your world
Read Matthew 5:13-16. You are the salt of the earth. Make things better.
The greatest influence we can have on our world is how we live our lives. How we live does not have to be perfect, it just has to be better.
3. Share Christ with the people in your world
When the opportunity arises, tell them about Jesus. Wherever there are hurting people, the Church of Jesus Christ is there with the Good News.
Tell people your experience. Don’t attack people. Do it with gentleness and respect.
Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words.” This is how you love well and make a difference in culture.
How I act is more important than what I said.
When you get a hold of the power and love of God, then capacity to love others happens.
1 John says,
“We love because Christ first loved us.” When we receive the love of God, a miracle takes place. Only Jesus can empower us to love others.
‘But God showed His love to us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’
God did not tell us He loved us – He demonstrated it by sending Jesus. He did it while we were still sinners. Capacity to love the world around us comes from Jesus.
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on February 10, 2019 at New Life Christian Church